A gunman – now identified as Brenton Tarrant – has massacred unarmed people in a mosque in Christchurch’s Hagley Park (New Zealand), and the gruesome events were livestreamed on Facebook by the shooter himself.
Early reports suggest that at least six people have been shot, but the livestream of the incident show dozens of casualties within and around the mosque. (New reports now back this up, saying at least 40 dead: see bottom of article for updates.)
The mass shooter advertised the livestream, as well as a manifesto titled "The Great Replacement," to 8chan, a laissez-faire imageboard that is frequently in the news over various drama.
Independent journalist Nick Monroe discovered the attacker's Twitter account at @BrentonTarrant (now suspended – archive.org, archive.fo), where he posted images of the firearms and gear used in the attack. His guns and ammo magazines are covered in the names of the victims of terror attacks in the West.
The entire sequence of events in the Facebook livestream plays out in first-person, leading observers on Twitter and elsewhere to draw comparisons to the infamous Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 “No Russian” mission.
Prior to going on the shooting spree, Tarrant made a number of meme references, including “subscribe to PewDiePie” and playing a Serbian military song from the ‘90s called “Remove Kebab” popularized by alt-right YouTubers. PewDiePie critics on social media have taken to blaming the popular YouTuber for the attack, wrongfully stating that the shooter shouted "subscribe to PewDiePie" before immediately opening fire, when in fact he only did so while in his vehicle, not immediately before the attack.
Facing no armed resistance whatsoever, Tarrant conducted his shooting spree with relative ease, firing his way into the mosque with a shotgun where he gunned down several people in the corridor before switching to an AR-15, mowing down dozens more.
Tarrant then makes his way outside and fires upon passersby who can be seen wearing Muslim religious garb. A woman, whom he wounds, can be heard and seen screaming for help before he ends her life.
Tarrant picks up another AR-15 from his vehicle as well as several more magazines, before heading back into the mosque. Red cans of gasoline can be seen sitting in the trunk of the vehicle alongside spare firearms and ammunition.
Tarrant unloads his newly-equipped AR-15 into badly wounded survivors in the main hall, but ignores various locked rooms where muffled voices can be heard panicking before he makes his way back to the vehicle. He fires at a number of pedestrians but it is unclear whether he wounded or killed anyone else.
The shooter drives away from the scene of carnage with relative ease. Upon seeing another pedestrian in Muslim garb, Tarrant uses a shotgun to blow several holes in his windscreen before he shoots out his side window and guns down the man in cold blood. The man did not appear to have even noticed the initial shots in his direction before he was shot.
Tarrant finally drives off while playing the soundtrack from the ‘90s racing anime, Initial D. Police sirens can be heard wailing in the distance before the video ends at around the 17 minute mark.
The shooter says in his manifesto that he intends to stand trial for his actions, which he intends to plead “not guilty” to. “The attack was a partisan action against a occupying force, and I am a lawful, uniformed combatant.”
Judging from his actions as well as the supplied manifesto, Tarrant’s motives are exceedingly clear. Police now have one man in custody (video of arrest).
UPDATE: PewDiePie responds:
UPDATE: Three men and one woman in custody, entire Christchurch on lockdown, IEDs found, police "doing everything we can" to remove the shooting video from the internet – Press conference #2 with Police Commissioner Mike Bush via Facebook.
UPDATE: New Zealand reportedly blocking sites that don't comply with requests to remove the archive of the mass shooter's livestream.
UPDATE: Death toll currently at 40.
UPDATE: Reddit bans gore subreddits r/watchpeopledie and r/gore over posts containing links to footage of the shooting, reports DailyDot.